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The Last Word

News/Business. (2011) New.




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Nasa 14, Us 12, Murdoch 12, Michele Bachmann 8, Iowa 6, America 6, Bachmann 4, Nichelle Nichols 4, George Takei 4, Bernie Sanders 3, Vermont 3, Betty Ford 3, U.s. 3, Washington 3, Rupert Murdoch 3, O'brien 2, Centrum 2, Britain 2, Washington Post 2, United States 2,
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  MSNBC    The Last Word    News/Business.  (2011) New.  

    July 8, 2011
    8:00 - 8:59pm EDT  

"the last word with lawrence o'donnell" starts right now. >> hi, everybody, i'm thomas roberts in for lawrence tonight. astronauts on the space shuttle "atlantis" are 200 miles above the earth now, but light years away from the bickering on how to create jobs. >> 31 seconds due to a failure. >> and we have had a failure. >> our economy as a whole just isn't producing near enough jobs. >> failure to launch. the president links jobs to the do-nothing congress. >> the debate feels other worldly right now. >> let me give you examples in rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our railways, and infrastructure. >> congress right now, what have they done? not a single thing. >> we need to stop with the bickering. >> they seem delighted. >> there is no agreement in private or in public. >> the white house has turned the audacity of hope. >> this is a finance guy who
created -- what was it, 40 jobs in his company? >> hey, mitt romney knows about unemployment. >> as unemployment go up, do your chance to win office go up? >> i hope so. >> senator bernie sanders is here. >> the american people expect the president of the united states to keep his word. >> michele bachmann's anti-gay marriage pledge is out of this world. >> i may not always get my words right, but i know my heart is right. >> people on other planets that look like us and talk like us. >> rupert murdoch is losing the world. >> it seems at times the paper was unable to control its own worst desires. >> the press, politicians, and leaders of all parties, yes, including me. >> and where will the bold go next? two, one, zero, and liftoff.
>> it's a picture-perfect launch for the space shuttle "atlantis." >> we have no new rocket ready to launch, no specific destination selected. >> without the shuttle, we have no way of getting into space ourselves. >> the exploration of space will go ahead whether we join in it or not. >> hi, everybody, good evening from new york. the republicans continue to play chicken with raising the debt ceiling despite the fact the republican speaker of the house called his own bluff today, admitting publicly the failure to raise the debt limit would have serious consequences on our economy. >> we're up against the debt limit, and while some think that, you know, we can go past august 2nd, i frankly think it puts us in an awful lot of jeopardy, and puts our economy in jeopardy, risking even more jobs. >> democrats, economists, and now the principle negotiator for
republicans are in agreement. so that should be the end of it, right? no more wielding the debt limit vote as a negotiation, but, of course, it's not. there is no agreement in private or in public, and as the president said yesterday, we are this far apart. it's not like there's some imminent deal about to happen. >> at the white house today, president obama was grappling with the horrendous jobs report, which shows just 18,000 jobs added in june and the unemployment rate picking up to 9.2%. speaking in the rose garden this morning, the president called out the republicans for creating economic uncertainty by delaying the debt ceiling. >> the sooner we get this soon, the sooner that the markets know that the debt limit ceiling will have been raised, and that we have a serious plan to deal with
our debt and deficit, the sooner that we give our businesses the certainty that they will need in order to make additional investments to grow and hire and will provide more confidence to the rest of the world as well so that they are committed to investing in america. >> but democrats in congress are looking for confidence in the white house, the cuts to entitlement benefits will be off the table and revenue will stay on it, despite claims from republicans they'll support tax revenue increases. here is democratic leader nancy pelosi after meeting with the president and vice president at the white house today. >> the president scheduled a meeting on sunday late in the day to see where we are on something that would have the elements of a -- in their words, grand bargain. i wish we could be thinking about a grand vision, but however you want to call it, how we go forward to not harm the economy, to reduce the deficit,
to create jobs. >> joining me now is senator bernie sanders, an independent from vermont. sir, always nice to see you. >> good to be with you. >> pelosi indicating house democrats are not happy and they are ready to hold the line on the no benefits cut issue. what's the vibe you are getting, especially after today? >> well, i think what i'm hearing in the senate, what the polls are telling me, what i'm hearing all over the state of vermont is that people cannot understand that at a time when the middle class is shrinking and poverty is increasing and when the wealthiest people in the country are doing phenome l phenomenally well, and corporations are making millions in profits and making nothing in taxes, hard to understand the wealthy and large corporations don't have to pay anything, we don't have to end any of the loop holes, and people have a hard time understanding that. so from my perspective, i'm
going to fight as hard as i can for the concept of shared sacrifice and not see massive cuts in medicare, medicaid, education, nutrition programs, the ability of working families to send their kids to college while the wealthiest people in the country don't have to participate in deficit reduction at all. >> today, you said if the proposal from the white house is a "piece of crap," the democrat caucus won't vote on it. first, is my quote right, piece of crap? >> i don't want to speak for anybody else. look, if we end up with a proposal, which allows the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations, and i have to tell you, tax rates for the very rich have gone down. corporations can avoid huge amounts of taxes. if a proposal comes forward to the united states senate based on balancing the budget on the most vulnerable people, elderly,
sick, children, throwing kids off of health insurance, denying working families the ability to send their kids to college. will i vote for that proposal, no, i won't. >> given some deficit reduction is inevitable, what's a deal you could live with, one that you could vote for? >> i think we should be doing -- and i've been working hard as a member of the budget committee to say at least 50% of deficit reduction has to come from the wealthiest people in this country and large corporations. i think we also have to take a hard look at military spending and at two wars. our defense budget has tripled since 1997, then i think you take a look at a whole lot of programs where there's waste, where there's bureaucracy, but i will not sit by and see elderly people in this country, who are having gotten a collar in two
years having take cuts in social security, or working people seeing their kids thrown off of medicaid or hungry people not able to get food stamps. that is not what america is supposed to be about. >> sir, from your perspective, do you think president obama has been backed into a corner because the republicans are holding the debt ceiling hostage, or is this a road he's chosen to participate in and go down? >> good question. the answer is every single poll i have seen in my experience here in vermont is people want shared sacrifice. if you ask people in polls, what is your preferred option in terms of deficit reduction, thomas, do you know what they say over and over again, ask the wealthy to stop paying their fair share of taxes. the fact that the republicans have been so abstenate in paying more in taxes to my mind, what
the president should be doing is getting out to the american people and putting the republicans on the defensive, going into their states and saying do you want to see pell grants and education cut, health care cut, education cut, or should those people with huge amounts of money be asked to pay more? if he goes out to the people, i think he can change the dynamic of this debate. right now, the people are on our side, on the side of shared sacrifice, not balancing the budget on the weak and vulnerable. >> seems there is a mixed message from the right, mr. boehner admitted they'd be in jeopardy in the debt limit is not raised. that's a far dry from what he said ten days ago. take a listen at this. >> dealing with this debt problem is far more important than meeting some artificial date created by the treasury secretary. we cannot miss this opportunity. if we want jobs to come to america, we have to give
american business people the confidence to invest in our country. >> the republican-led house is one obstaclobstacle, so what do think the likelihood of that could happen is? >> well, you know, i'm not going to speculate on what could happen. i think everybody knows not passing a -- an increase in the debt limit will raise interest rates in this country, will have far-flung implications all over the world, and it's something that we should do, but we cannot do it on the backs of people who are already hurting as a result of the recession. there's got to be an element, a strong element, of fairness, we have to take a hard look at military spending as well. >> senator bernie sanders, always nice to see you. thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you very much. >> joining me now is van jones, he is the president of rebuild the dream. a year ago, van, unemployment was above 9%, and the conversation in an election year
was about jobs. a year later, unemployment above 9%, the focus on deficit reduction largely through spending cuts. explain what happened. >> well, tell you what happened, a very small number of extremists have hi jacked the conversation. look, the liberal base is not going to put up with this kind of attack on ordinary people, but also, ordinary americans are not going to. this is no longer liberals versus conservatives. 85% of americans agree with us, we should be raising taxes on rich people and more importantly, 55% of republicans do. when david stockman, the architect of reaganomics, even he would be raising taxes on rich people, that should be the end of the discussion, let's have a balanced approach, but instead, we have a small group of people that have hijacked the discussion. >> the republicans say they have
tied the hands by voting down or stalling the jobs initiatives that they've offered. is that something you can accept? >> well, no, it's not something we can accept. first of all, one of the things we have to recognize is the republican majority has been there in the house, they have not passed one single job-creating measure the entire time they've been there. they talk about hiring, hiring, hiring, all their policies have led to firing, firing, firing. what we have to understand at this point, the american people now have to step up. washington, d.c. is so far off the rails. you talk to ordinary people, they are talking about veterans coming home, to no jobs, no hope, their mortgages being underwater, and the banks that we saved as americans won't even return our phone calls to help us renegotiate mortgages to get ourselves out from under water. that's what's going on in america, economic pain. wall street has given us a private sector austerity program.
we don't need a public sector austerity program on top of of it. >> i want to talk about something that happened today. it's happening as the republican primary is underway. earlier, gop candidate michele bachmann spoke on cnbc. take a listen, and we'll talk on the other side. >> does it strike you as the unemployment rate goes up, your chance of winning office also goes up? >> well, that could be. again, i hope so. my candidacy is one that i'm presenting to be a job creator and to turn the economy around. >> high unemployment, that's a horrible thing to hope for, but isn't it true the worse the economy is under president obama, the better the chance a republican will defeat in him 2012? today we had that speech from the president in the rose garden where we had the would have, should have, could have. >> i hope bachmann will take that awful comment back for
people suffering, going through unemployment. the average is 39 weeks of unemployment. they don't want people saying they hope it gets worse for american people. the only people that say they put the well being of ordinary americans above their political ambitions. i hope she'll take that back. what i do know, that lack of wisdom is not reflected in the rest of the country. at, we have 14,000 ideas about how we can get the economy going without destroying medicare, without destroying social security, those ideas are better than ideas from michele bachmann. >> president obama talked about the ideas he gets from the public, not just from politics, but everyday americans. van jones from rebuild the dream, thanks for being here, appreciate your time. >> honor to be here. coming up, special treat for
you as the final shuttle mission blasts off. >> announcer: this past year alone there's been a 67% spike in companies embracing the cloud-- big clouds, small ones, public, private, even hybrid. your data and apps must move easily and securely to reach many clouds, not just one. that's why the network that connects, protects, and lets your data move fearlessly through the clouds means more than ever.
michele bachmann signed a pledge that takes away certain rights. how many other republican presidential hopefuls will sign the pledge? i talk to dana mill bank from the washington post. scotland yard makes another arrest as the news of the world
reaches its final edition. ♪ ♪ hey, dad, you think i could drive? i'll tell you what -- when we stop to fill it up. ♪ ♪ [ son ] you realize, it's gotta run out sometime. [ male announcer ] jetta tdi clean diesel. the turbo that gets 42 miles per gallon. ♪ it's schwab at your fingertips wherever, whenever you want. one log in lets you monitor all of your balances and transfer between accounts, so your money can move as fast as you do. check out your portfolio, track the market with live updates.
and execute trades anywhere and anytime the inspiration hits you. even deposit checks right from your phone. just take a picture, hit deposit and you're done. open an account today and put schwab mobile to work for you. welcome back, everybody. a religious group in iowa has crafted a new pledge for presidential hopefuls to sign, called marriage vow, a declaration of dependents upon marriage and family. bob vander plots said it comes after the recent sex scandals involving former california governor, arnold schwarzenegger and anthony weiner. so far, michele bachmann and rick santorum have signed the
plenl. former minnesota cover is still thinking about it and ron paul's iowa campaign chairman says he hasn't signed yet, because he doesn't want the government to dictate and define traditional marriage. no word from newt gingrich, who we know has been married three times. it asks them to fight gay marriage, abortion, quickie divorces, and all forms of pornography. it also rejects sharia islam and says african-american kids were better off under slavery than they were today. dana, when i was reading over this stuff, i envisioned mccauley culkin in the mirror. >> things here, michele bachmann is on the record saying married people have better sex. she is on the record coming out
against cohabitation outside of marriage, in fact, against seduction, but i think the thing that goes further than all of these and is really rather more serious is there's no way to read this other than to say the people who are signing this are saying that african-american children were better off under slavery than they are under barack obama's america. they throw in the context of having two parents and say they were more likely to be raised by two parents in 1860 than they are today. well, maybe that's true, but that would be because their parents were both owned by the same slave master, so we now have michele bachmann saying on the one hand the founders would not rest until they could abolish slavery, now we're hearing, in fact, black children are better off when there was slavery. >> so better off born a slave baby than to be from a single-parent family? >> and not watching or reading any pornography.
>> exactly. explain to us how does michele bachmann have to gain by signing this, especially so early on, and when she's doing respectfully well? >> this is interesting, because the other one who rushed to do this was rick santorum, he'll do anything to get a bit of attention. there's a lot in this pledge about the importance of having robu procreation, and obviously, santorum and bachmann score well on that point. she's trying to lock down the religious conservative vote, which is two-thirds of the vote in the republican iowa caucuses. on the other hand, as you point out, she was doing very well with that said anyway, and the point of locking them down at this point becomes such an abetross. >> will our blinders on for
iowa? what is the calculation for the republican candidates in iowa when deciding whether or not to sign this and the rush to put ink to paper by bachmann? >> right, this is why you have pawlenty, as always, being equivocal and waiting a moment. and i think you could safely bet romney doesn't want to get near this, which is why he doesn't want to get near iowa in the first place. it's sort of the mike huckabee affect. if you win iowa, can you turn into a springboard than mike huckabee. the guy who put together this pledge was a big guy for huckabee in iowa last time around. that's clearly what bachmann is aiming for. >> i encourage everybody to look it up, the marriage vow, family leader, strengthening families. dana milbank from the washington post. thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks. >> will nasa go where no one has
gone before? star trek legends george takei and nichelle nichols share their roles with the program as the final shuttle mission is underway. later, the surprising results about a study of men, women, and sex. the stereotypes being shattered. e the future of business. in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪ with new extra-strength bayer advanced aspirin. it has microparticles, enters the bloodstream faster and rushes relief to the site of pain. it's clinically proven to relieve pain twice as fast. new bayer advanced aspirin.
nbc's coverage of the launch of the first shuttle in 1981 was called columbia, the shuttle
beg begins, the program got the okay from richard nixon. the first orbitor was supposed to be called constitution, but star trek fans convinced it to be called the enterprise. george takei and nichelle nichols react next. and is there a deep, dark reason for rupert murdoch to close "news of the world"?
>> minus ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four -- we've gone from main engine start. we have main engine start. liftoff of america's first space shuttle. and the shuttle has cleared the tower. >> and that is how it all began, the space shuttle era, the first shuttle flight on april 12, 1981. columbia was only in the air for two days on that mission, with only two crew members on board. today, thirty years later,
shuttle "atlantis" took off from the kennedy space center, closing a chapter of american history forever. >> go for main engine start t-minus ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, all three engines up and burning, two, one, zero, and liftoff. the final liftoff of "atlantis," on the shoulders of the space shuttle, america will continue the dream. >> "atlantis" has a crew of four, that's the smallest since 1983. they will perform one space walk, assisting two crew members from the international space station, but their main job is to deliver tons of stlies from a logistics module to the space station crew, and with this last mission with no vehicle ready to lift the shuttle, looking for the private sector, the future of america's space program is in
imbow, making this a bittersweet day. joining me now is science correspondent miles o'brien, from orlando tonight we are joined by nichelle nichols who played lieutenant ohura and george takei who played captain sulu on the original star trek. i know you and george have both worked with nasa over the years on the issue of diversity and recruitment. but i want your reaction, nichel nichelle, on being there for the launch. >> it was rather incredible, thomas. it was the end of an era of the space shuttle program, but not the end of the space program. only the beginning of the next,
the next stage in which we will go further into space and live in space and explore. after all, we as human beings were born as explorers, not earthbound people, and that is how the space program became into being, with the great minds and imagination, the foundation of innovation. and with innovation, we can go anywhere. >> i was going to say, we certainly are a society of wanting to move forward, and this has been such a wonderful chapter in american history. george, explain your history with nasa and what it means to you, especially the diversity issues you've been able to spearhead with them. >> well, it was really wonderful to see that beautiful liftoff this morning, but as you said, it was a bittersweet experience
knowing this is the last shuttle flight. we were actually there before the columbia took off, because we had that thrilling and unforgettable experience of being there at the roll out of the first shuttle that was named "enterprise" after the star ship enterprise, and because of that, we, mere actors, were privileged to not only be at that historic human event, but to participate in the various aspects of that program. on "star trek" we said the strength of the starship lay in its diversity, coming together and working in concert, and that's what we saw with the nasa program, and we were invited to participate in that program to talk about diversity, not only the diversity that you could see, the ethnic diversity, but also the diversity of the
audible diversity, the various accents that you heard. people from throughout this planet, who spoke with a different sound, different languages, and also the other diversity you couldn't see, the political diversity. russian on the starship enterprise. >> and the possibility of alien life, intelligent life. >> we were able to participate -- hi, nichelle, i envy you being there. i was busy being a ninja master here. >> it was amazing, george. >> yes, it was. but the diversity coming together, and we were able to participate in that program. we felt very privileged and very much a part of the nasa program, and we're very sorry to see it coming to an end. however, you know, the private sector is going to take it on, but all great exploration has
been done with the private-public partnership, and it takes some imagineer to set a seemingly impossible goal way up there, then it takes the tinkerers and the inventers to achieve that. that's what jean did with "star trek" and many people involved with nasa were inspired to go into it. >> we need to talk about the next chapter, miles, i want to bring you into the conversation, because you're a brilliant journalist, our space savant, i think it's safe to say that. nice to share tv time with an old friend. give us an idea, what's the best guess of the future of the american space program. it's been so part of our american narrative, is the private sector really the answer now? >> well, let's talk about the
private sector. the likes of elin musk is making great strides building private rockets to ferry cargo and human beings to the international space station, and if he's willing to stake some chips on that and get into business and apply some entrepreneurial spirit to the world of the high frontier, i say the government should do what it can to step aside and seed that a little bit, much like the government put airmail on 1920s ford motors and ultimately that laid the grounds for the airlines today. what you see now is that, what nasa needs to focus on is pushing out farther, nasa needs to go to mars to answer questions if we are alone in the universe. >> actually, that is nasa's plan. well, actually, miles, that is
nasa's plan. >> right. >> it's not to step aside from private industry and those innovators, but to partner with them and to make sure that what the dream that was so well-portrayed by jean roddinberry in the 21st century becomes a reality and with that responsibility to see to it, and now our next step is to go forward, is to go further where the private sector is not ready to go. it can help with us at the international space station, but we will be focusing now beyond and beyond the beyond. we will be going to mars, planning to go to mar
we're going to asteroids, may go back to the moon and settle. but the point that i'm making is that we as human beings are not earthbound. we're explorers. we were explorers on this earth, and now we've practically used it up. we will be exploring the universe, and it was wonderful hearing george talking about the diversity and being there at the roll out of the first space shuttle. i had the honor of being tabbed by nasa to recruit the first women and minority astronauts for the space shuttle program, and so there was -- and it was very successful, and there was that diversity. now -- and with the first -- now we move further into the universe with that incredible
imagination that nasa is so famous for and with that imagination is the foundation of innovation, and all that nasa has given to the world through technology transfers has -- has enlarged us in our pursuit of happiness here on earth, and so it has been a great honor for me to see private industry come in and nasa embrace it. >> let's hope that -- we have to hope that they continue to embrace that. nichelle, unfortunately, we have to go, we ran out of time. but whatever shuttle you are building, sign me up, you are passionate about this. >> you bet, and passion is the fuel too. >> that's right, thank you so much. i want to thank science correspondent miles o'brien, also actors george takei and
nichelle nichols. it was a pleasure to have all three of you guys on. thanks, guys. >> i thank you. >> next, latest on the "news of the world scandal" and andy coulson was arrested today as part of the probe into the phone hacking scandal. we have the details for you next. later, a news study showing that men are happier in relationships when there's frequent cuddling while women are happier when they are having more sex. [ male announcer ] from nutritional science comes centrum. with vitamins and minerals balanced to support your energy... ♪ ...immune function... ♪ ...healthy skin... kin si kin see everyday benefits from advanced formulas. the complete benefits of centrum. and if you're over 50, discover the age-adjusted benefits of centrum silver.
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earlier today, a news of the world employee secretly recorded the tabloid's chief executive, rebecca brooks, in a heated discussion with her staff. talk about irony. we'll have it for you.
that these people could have had their phones hacked into in order to generate stories for a newspaper is simply disgusting. i cannot think what was going through the minds of the people who did this, but this scandal is not just about some journalists on one newspaper. it's not even just about the press. it's also about the police, and yes, it's also about how politics works and about politicians too. >> british prime minister david cameron vows to leave no stone unturned in the scandal involving "news of the world"
tabloid. murdoch is reportedly flying to london tomorrow. three men were arrested today in connection with the scan doll. andy coulson was detained this morning on conspiracy and corruption allegations. also arrested, formal royal editor, clive goodman, he already spent four months in jail in '07. both coulson and goodman have been released on bail. british police also arrested a 63-year-old male in connection with the phone hacking, but his identity has not been released. in the meantime, rebecca brooks, editor at the time of the phone hacking and now ceo of the paper's parent company, news international, a -- was recorded today.
>> eventually it will come out why things wents wrong and who was responsible, i believe that will be another very, very difficult moment. >> i don't want to be nasty, but a lot of people think you should resign. >> look, i was called. i was away in 2006, i was editing the sun, i got a call, like you, about the arrested. >> brooks is refusing to answer calls for her resignation, but she's no longer in charge of the news international internal clean-up committee. more arrests could come soon, which begs the question -- joining me now, author of the death and life of american journalist, john nichols. politicians are involved in this
scandal as well, that they never went after murdoch's empire because of his political power, so just how much of an influence are we talking about here that murdoch has over the political aspects of life in britain? >> it was a huge influence, and i think it's hard to underestimate. to give you an example of the influence that murdoch has had really over the last 20 to 25 years, when tony blair, the former prime minister was considering making a bid for the prime minister's decision, he flew to australia to meet with murdoch. he went to murdoch to ask for murdoch's blessing, and similarly cameron, the current prime minister went to murdoch and asked for a blessing before he launched his bid as prime minister. for a time in great britain, leaders in political parties have played up to murdoch, and
there's simply no question his news operations have destroyed some politicians and raised others to high positions of power. >> how does that play out when we think about the power politically of murdoch can be in the united states? >> well, there's no question that the way that his news operations operate in the united states, particularly his fox television network, is at least somewhat grounded in that australian style, it is one that is far more partisan than is the case with broadcast in the u.s. and cable, and also one that clearly picks favorites. there's simply no doubt when you turn on fox you're going to know who they like and who they don't like. we've had examples in the united states of members of different administrations playing to the fox folks. for instance, condoleezza rice
at one point during the bush administration at a critical moment with afghanistan broke from her official duties to do a lengthy briefing of murdoch's editors from around the world. no doubt we've seen these sorts of relationships in the u.s. >> does this beg the question, though, something like what happened to "news of the world" could happen here inside the u.s.? if these tactics are being used and administered in that corporation, how come they wouldn't be used in the united states if they are so successful else where? >> well, i think we have to understand that different parts of the world have different approaches to journalism, and there's simply no doubt that the united states has different practices. for instance, we have a constitutional amendment that protects the right to privacy. it's quite engrained in our life, so i'm not sure you'll see an exact parallel, but opening
up the discussion about how murdoch operates and the way murdoch's operations have grown via relationships with government is a significant thing to do. remember, rupert murdoch has aggressively lobbied the federal communications commission for a lifting of laws that would make it much easier for him to build out his empire in the u.s. very controversial thing but not nearly as discussed as it should be in our media and political life. >> again, as we continue to hear about the arrests and more to come about the "news of the world" scandal. thanks for joining us tonight. >> it's a pleasure. still ahead, news about your sex life. seriously. if you thought you knew what men and women are really like in the bedroom, you are in for a wake-up call. is. it's salonpas. pain relief that works at the site of pain... up to 12 hours. salonpas.
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welcome back, everybody, we have breaking news that we need to pass along to you this evening, nbc news confirmed betty ford, widow of gerald ford has died. she was 93 years old. she served as first lady and was known for her bravery as well as her candor in battling alcohol and drug dependency. her successful recovery led to her starting the betty ford clinic. she was awarded the presidential medal of freedom in 1991 and her death follows the passing of president ford in 2006. andrea mitchell is joining me now to talk more about the life and times of betty ford. andrea, very sad news coming this evening. >> very sad news to the nation, to those of us who knew betty ford, those of us who knew her
as a role model and mentor for women fighting breast cancer and women being public for the first time about her fight against the disease. she and president ford, when she first experienced her bout with breast cancer were very public, very open about it. in fact, they had a photo opportunity in her hospital room out at walter reed to make it clear to everyone it was not something to be covered up, which back then in the '70s, it was. it was later after she left the white house that she acknowledged that after a family moment with her, where the children and the former president came to her and said to her she had been too dependent on painkillers, had had problems with alcoholism that she, in fact, did confront that, and that led to the betty ford center. she was 93 years old, she was ailing for many years. she, before then, came every june for a reunion of the white house staff cabinet and celebration of the ford's wedding anniversaries and their
birthdays in the summer month. she was an annual figure in washington over those years and many of us went to a conference president ford held in their summer home in colorado for many, many years until she was just too frail and the altitude was frankly too difficult for her. but in these declining years, she has lived, of course, in the desert in palm springs, last seen in washington when she was here, of course, for the former president's funeral services, the state funeral for president ford. so it is with great sadness many of us have to share the news that betty ford has died at the age of 93. >> certainly her legacy will live on with the thousands of people helped by her candor and openness with her own battle. indeed. she really was a break-through charismatic first lady. we remember the style, the fact she was a former dan -- dancer.
she was the first national figure to talk about her breast cancer so openly. then the late nancy reagan also did so during her tenure as first lady, so she was a major figure for women, she supported the equal rights amendment, which was never ratified, but she was active in the women's rights movement and was very out spoken. about her teenage daughter, susan, living at the white house, going through the struggles of all teenage girls. the sons and suzanne, of course, are in our hearts tonight. suzanne ford-bales and the great grandchildr grandchildren. she was a remarkable first lady and figure after she left the white house. >> certainly a nation's heart-felt condolences going out to the family. thanks for joining me, i appreciate it. th